Thursday, October 16, 2014


Pope Francis has said time and again that he is opposed to ideological solutions to moral problems and Church problems. Yet the first summary draft of the first week of the Synod was highly ideological and of the post-Catholic type. It wasn't Catholic!

Those who believe in the moral truths of Jesus Christ, the Son of God as communicated to us through Scripture, Tradition and the Magisterium of the Church especially the Magisteriums of the last two papacies which taught abundantly on the family and human anthropology based on natural law, have sounded the alarm and have done so courageously.

These men are all respected Cardinals of the Church, Cardinals George Pell, Timothy Dolan and Leo Raymond Burke. Cardinal Burke has spoken like St. Catherine of Siena and directly to the Pope telling His Holiness to go back to Rome and clarify his Magisterium! That is a bit of stunning news.

This is a news story on what Cardinal Dolan said in an interview where he endorse Pope Leo's, I mean, Cardinal Leo Burke's analysis:

While gay rights groups have praised the document, conservative bishops are calling it unacceptable. The document was written by a committee hand-picked by Pope Francis.

Among the outspoken is Cardinal Leo Raymond Burke who called the language in the 11-page document "confused" and "erroneous" in an interview with the Catholic News Agency.

"I think he's (Pope Leo) right," Dolan said Wednesday on "CBS This Morning." "He's picked up on the side that a lot of bishops, and I would include myself, feel that it needs some major reworking."

Dolan said the purpose of the Vatican meeting is to make revisions of the preliminary report, and they have been "laboring hard" over the past two days. 

"This was a draft document, a first stage, of what's going to be the result of our two good weeks here in Rome," Dolan said. "All of this is almost like antipasto to help the Holy Father arrive in a fresh new way to teach the timeless teachings of the church on marriage and family."

Among the pieces of controversy is a section titled, "Welcoming Homosexual Persons," where it says, "Homosexuals have gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community. Are we capable of welcoming these people, guaranteeing to them a fraternal space in our communities?"

Dolan argues it's something that the Catholic Church is already doing. (My comment: I've been a priest for 35 years almost and in every parish I've been in no homosexual has been turned away from coming to Mass and if they are not ideological or opposed to Catholic moral teaching in a public way, they are invited to participate in other ways in the parish too!)

"Look, you're talking to the Archbishop of New York. I find it news that some people would still consider this news," he said.

He said parishes and communities in the New York Archdiocese are welcoming.

"This is a community of people who are trying our best to respond to the teaching of Jesus Christ, to open ourselves up to His grace so that we can live His message fully, and to seek His mercy when we can't," Dolan said. "It's a tribute to Pope Francis that he's affirming this positive embrace of the church and calling for us to make it even more dynamic."

Pope Francis has been known to take more progressive approaches and push for inclusion.
Despite the division over the document, Dolan said there is still a common ground among the leaders.
"I note a remarkable unanimity and enthusiastic backing of the Holy Father's attempt to present the teaching of the church in a fresh, exciting, enchanting new way," he said.

Dolan said one of the major obstacles for the church is the stereotype that the Catholic church is constantly telling people what they can't do.

"They've heard me say often, we've heard Popes John Paul II, Benedict XVI and now, in an extraordinarily effective way, Pope Francis saying the church isn't about no's," Dolan said. "The church is about a big, resounding yes to everything that is good and noble and beautiful and dignified and genuine and liberating in the human person."


Gene said...

Hand picked by Francis…well, he has certainly shown his true colors.

Anonymous said...

Pope Saint John Paul II wrote this about married couples. He said they “cannot... look on the law as merely an ideal to be achieved in the future: they must consider it as a command of Christ the Lord to overcome difficulties with constancy. And so what is known as ‘the law of gradualness’ or step-by-step advance cannot be identified with ‘gradualness of the law,’ as if there were different degrees or forms of precept in God's law for different individuals and situations.” (Familiaris Consortio no. 34.)

What is becoming clear about this synod is that it is trying to change Catholic teaching on marriage, homosexuality and sin. And the total silence of the Pope is deafening.

Agnes said...


Have you ever wondered if Pope Francis is using the synod to help him see each bishop's and cardinal's true colors?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Agnes, I don't know. Pope Francis is such an enigma. His pastoral practice and the theology from which it comes is very liberal and I don't necessarily mean that in a negative way. Those of us in the trenches know the difficulties the laity have especially with marriage, divorce and annulments.

He has consistently called people to acknowledge that we are all sinners and that God never grows tired of forgiving us although we grow tired of asking.

He calls people to go to confession regularly. If most parishes in the world got homilies like his every Sunday and we had at Mass active homosexuals, cohabiting couples and those in irregular marriage and we told them about Satan, about sin and the only way to heave is through forgiveness conveyed in a powerful way in Confession and then we gave the laity a good examination of conscience (we provide the one the Fathers of Mercy produce) how can we go wrong in evangelizing?

If the pope wants to see who wants to do away with sin and confession well then he's seen it!

John Nolan said...

I think this is the make or break point of this pontificate. I never thought Francis would be anything other than a 'hands-on' Pope at this Synod, more so than JP II was thirty-three years ago.

However, if he is pushing a liberal agenda with the help of a 'kitchen cabinet' of like-minded prelates, he will be quickly found out and his credibility will be irreversibly damaged.

If, as seems increasingly likely, Piero Marini is named as the next CDWDS prefect, it will make no difference to what happens in the front line (traditionalists hold him in the utmost contempt and will ignore anything that comes out of his dicastery, and liberals will just smirk and carry on as before) but it will show to which mast Pope Francis has nailed his colours.

We'll get the message, adjust our views accordingly, and continue to pray - and it's not difficult to imagine what the substance of these prayers will be.